Working Hard, Hardly Working

What I read in June | Books

6th July 2021 by naffy

Working Hard, Hardly Working It has been a hot minute since I updated you all on the books I have been reading. In truth the number of books I have read has slipped a little but I have read some corkers I know you will find value from and enjoy.

Brown Baby – Nikesh Shukla

There are not many memoirs about the immigrant experience least of all memoirs written by South Asian men and if there is one person who could do it justice would be Nikesh Shukla. It has been a while since I read any of his words and the moment I started reading Brown Baby I was instantly reminded of his brilliance. He has such a way with words in a way very few people do.

Brown baby is is a memoir sewed into a series of letters he writes to his daughter. He talks about his relationship with food, grief, growing up in a South Asian household in Britain during the ’80s. I have read a lot of memoirs but this one hit differently. The vulnerability and raw emotion Nikesh demonstrates seeps through the words he writes. He recalls moments from his childhood, trying to maintain friendships as an adult and the need to recreate the Indian dish KItchri while walking around Bristol in the early morning as he walks with his daughter. It also serves as a book that looks at the immigrant experience not only in the past but how it impacts generations in 2021.

Rating: 9/10 – One of the most touching memoirs I have had the fortune to read.

Happy Sexy Millionaire – Steven Bartlett

The first thing I always say when I mention the book, Happy Sexy Millionaire, by Entrepreneur Steven Bartlett is that it is not a typical business book. It is more like a life manual and while it doesn’t teach you how to actually become a Happy Sexy Millionaire, there is no reason why you cannot become one if you apply the lessons and tools Steven shares in his book.

One of Steven’s charms stems from his art of storytelling. Whether it is through this book or online via his Instagram page, Steven is able to take a topic he wants to talk about and create wonderful articulate content from it. He combines his personal anecdotes about looking after yourself, your mental health, and being in alignment with your personal purpose with key teachings from others. Each point he makes within this book is well researched backed by data and experts – something a lot of business books of its ilk neglect to include.

Rating: 8/10 – It was a wonderful book and I would recommend it. I just feel I listen to a lot of his content already and would have liked a little more fresh content.

photo-1544716278-e513176f20b5 Working Hard – Hardly Working – Grace Beverley

After a lot of trial and error, one big aspect of the non-fiction business/ professional career books is that it needs to give you tangible advice which can be implemented in your daily life almost immediately. That is exactly what you get from the debut book by Grace Beverley, Working Hard, Hardly Working.

The book is split into two sections. Section one is the Working Hard segment in which Grace shares her methods of productivity which enabled her to become a businesswoman with two companies. This included time management skills, generating time to create new future ideas while also staying focus on the current business. She also breaks down how she creates her to-do lists and tasks, something I found particularly useful.

The second part of the book focuses on Hardly Working which looks at tips on how to slow down, prevent burn out and look after yourself while still running a business or having your career. In this part of the book, Grace hones in on the notion that in fact, you need rest in order to work hard and live a life that is successful and sustainable for you, not the internet or your family. The anthesis of the hustle culture we are fed on social media if you will.

Personally, I got more tangible advice from the working hard section and I think depending on what stage you are in in your life different parts of this book will resonate more with you than others. The Hardly Working part of the book served as a stark reminder to not feel guilty about the fact you can’t function on 4 hours of sleep or like to wind down in the evening rather than working through the evening. Grace’s aim in writing this book is to gives you the tools to find the work and self-care streams that work for you. It was well written, engaging. easy to read about creating a fulfilled life for you. and if you are not like me and enjoy highlighting everything, having heard Grace speak in interviews and on podcasts I know it will be just as beneficial and engaging as an audiobook.

Rating: 8/10 – It was a great read and would recommend it to others.

We need more Wine – Gabrielle Union

I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started listening to this. I adore Gabrielle Union and everything she stands for. I was already aware of her genuine presence online and her authenticity but I was still surpirsed at the level of detail and openess about the stories she shared in her memoir We Need More Wine.

She talks candidly as she always does without mincing her words. You get the sense she is letting out everything she needs to within these pages like she found the writing process therapeutic and akin to writing in your personal journal rather than a book for others to read. While some memoirs leave you feeling like they just touch the surface, lacking in depth, We Need Moe Wine was the opposite. It was filled with many layers to this, from her owning her own misjudgments and feelings of growing up as a black child in America within a white community and the impact of fame on her relationships, her relationship with family members, being assaulted, and being a stepmother. All of this wrapped in Gabrielle’s wit and charm we all know and love.

Rating: 9/10 – I read a lot of memoirs. This made me laugh, cry and left me feeling inspired in equal measure.

As always, let me know what books you’re reading at the moment and if you want to know about the books or books I have read in the past I have a highlight full of delicious read on my Instagram page.

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